Posted: Wed 10th Mar 2021

Union Connectivity Review: Improved rail links between North Wales and England top priority list

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 10th, 2021

Improved rail connectivity between the North coast of Wales and England tops a list of proposals to “level up” transport infrastructure and improve links across the UK.

In June, Sir Peter Hendy CBE – the Chair of Network Rail – was tasked by the Prime Minister with exploring ways in which transport can better connect all parts of the United Kingdom.

An interim report has been published today, in it four projects have been identified by Sir Peter.

The UK Government has committed £20m towards exploring the development of projects, which include the improved rail connectivity between the North Wales and England.

Rail improvements in South-East Wales building on ideas from the Welsh Government’s Burns Commission are also included in today’s initial report.

Sir Peter has spoken with over 100 organisations and received nearly 150 submissions to his call for evidence. As a result, he has been able to identify some of the most pressing issues involved in connecting all parts of the UK.

His initial findings has identified some ‘key concerns’ including the need for better port capacity at Holyhead, and connections from Ynys Môn and the North Wales coast to Merseyside and Manchester for freight and passengers.

Feedback from stakeholders and consultees have identified the A55 in North Wales as being of interest to the Review.

Sir Peter Hendy CBE said: “Devolution has been good for transport but it has also led to a lack of attention to connectivity between the four nations, due to competing priorities and complex funding.”

“A UK Strategic Transport Network could resolve this, with its core objective centred around levelling up across the whole of the UK.”

The government will receive the final union connectivity review recommendations ahead of the Spending Review, where it will consider and confirm funding plans for delivering improved connectivity across the UK.

Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart MP said: “This interim report highlights how improvements to road, rail and ports are central to job creation and economic growth across Wales.

“Thousands of people travel between England and Wales every day so it is vital that we better connect communities in north, mid and south Wales with the rest of the UK. 

“As we build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic, transport infrastructure projects like these will boost the UK economy and I look forward to seeing the progress of this work and the final report.”


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